Wave goodbye to predictability and say hello to amazing Cuba. The largest country in the Caribbean, Cuba has an incredibly rich history and is one of the most adventurous cities on the planet.
From shabby architecture in colonial alleyways to captivating street art to shipwrecks, travelling to Cuba will be one of the most exciting journeys you’ll ever take.
Basking in the white sand beaches of the north coast is a must when you travel to Cuba. However, this is a land of contrasts with rugged mountains, lush forests and crocodile infested swamps.
After exploring the wilderness, tourists soak up the culture and Latin atmosphere of Havana with its street carnivals, tropical feel and potent culture.
In February, Havana hosts the largest cigar festival in the World. The Annual Habanos Cigar Festival invites tourists to travel to the country’s tobacco plantations, tour Cuba’s cigar factories and sample habanos.
Drink a Mojito in the place where the famous cocktail was invented. La Bodeguita del Medio is a famous restaurant in the heart of Havana. The birthplace of the Mojito, it has become one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions. Attracting famous politicians, writers and celebrities, the venue has even featured in a James Bond film.
When planning a trip to Cuba, keep in mind that it’s hurricane season from June to November and speak to your travel agent about the best times to travel.
With the US recently relaxing laws on Cuban tourism, this is set to become a hot tourist destination. We recommend considering Cuba as a must-see destination before it loses any of its authentic character and charm.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The city to host the summer Olympics is always one of the hottest travel destinations of the year. But for this year’s host city it’s more than the Games of the XXXI Olympiad making this destination so attractive.
A country renowned for its incredible diversity, Brazil has everything from wild rainforests and canyons to powder white beaches and tropical islands. It’s a legendary ecosystem famous for its plants and animals, so is one of the most exciting adventure travel destinations in the World.
Famous for street celebrations, dancing the samba and Mardi Gras, Rio de Janiero is the place to party. Shake and shimmy with Brazil’s national cocktail, a Caipirinha, in hand. After a Caipirinha or two you’ll be ready to let the deep beat of the drum inspire the rhythm.
If chasing sunsets is your thing, Arpoador is an absolute must. Located in the southern zone of Rio de Janeiro, the area is considered one of the best surf spots in the country and is the place to watch the sun set throughout midsummer.
Further down the coast, a rustic beach called Grumari offers a winding, isolated coastline. An environmentally protected area, Grumari is surrounded by National Park. Stroll along golden beaches or take adventurous trails on bike or foot. This secluded, serene environment is an escape from the hustle and bustle.
While Brazil is a third World country, Rio is a well-established tourist mecca and accommodation can be some of the most expensive in the World. The further you travel away from the beaches, such as Copacabana and Ipanema, the better value you will find. Try Santa Teresa. This chic neighbourhood offers a good choice of guesthouses and boutique hotels.
The 2016 Olympics will run from August 5 – 21. Expect larger than usual crowds during this period.
If travelling to third world, non-English speaking countries isn’t your thing, London could be calling.
London is an enormous city divided into boroughs. Organise your sightseeing to make the most of your time. It’s a vibrant megalopolis and international capital of culture, education, politics and trade.
Central London has an incredible history, which can be explored at the British Museum and the University of London. Medieval churches, historic mansions and ancient buildings can be discovered throughout the Borough of Camden and City of London.
Buckingham Palace, The Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey are also located in Central London. An enormous palace guarded by immaculately presented guards, Buckingham Palace has been the official residence of Britain’s royal family since 1837. Many tourists visit for the “changing of the guards”, a ceremony where the Old Guard hands over to the New Guard. The spectacle involves military bands and precision drills.
Every August millions of people attend Notting Hill Carnival in the Borough of Kensington. Held on a U.K. bank holiday, it is Britain’s biggest street party and the second biggest street party in the world. With a Caribbean theme, flamboyant floats and costumes parade through the streets. Crowds enjoy food stalls, music and lively atmosphere. It’s an amazing way to celebrate London’s cultural diversity.
London’s red double decker buses are iconic. Hop-on hop-off bus tours operate around the city, passing up to 150 famous landmarks, and are a great way to catch all the sights and sounds.
Australians visiting the UK for a period of six months or lessas tourists do not require a visa. Visit Smart Traveller for more info on travelling to the U.K.
Park, Stay & Go
Holiday Inn Melbourne Airport’s Park, Stay & Go Package is perfect for international travel. Leave your car in our onsite car park for up to 7 days while you explore the best destinations of 2016. Stay the night before you fly and check into your flight feeling refreshed. Ask your travel agent for more information or book directly with our best price guarantee.